AUBURN, Ala. — Jarrett Stidham’s first official week as Auburn football’s starting quarterback is coming to a close. After months of waiting, the No. 1 finally has the spotlight all to himself.
The news meant a couple of media appearances for the former Baylor quarterback this week. Even so, coaches and teammates haven’t seen Stidham affected by the extra attention or camera time. They haven’t seen much of a change at all, outside of one thing.
“You know he was already a good leader kind of like I’ve said before,” Malzahn said. “But that’s his offense now and just everything that goes with it. I thought he’s really raised his level as far as that’s concerned. That is to be expected when you name the starting quarterback, but he’s handled himself very well so far.”
On the football field offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey says Stidham’s “been the same guy.”
“I think he’s a guy that is pretty driven and excited about practicing every day,” Lindsey said. “He prepares every day like even before he was named. Really haven’t seen much change in his demeanor. He’s had a couple of good days here in a row.”
Auburn’s coaching staff felt the timing of its announcement was ideal. Following an interview on SportsCenter and a quick segment on the Paul Finebaum Show, it allows for two more weeks of practices during which Stidham can gel and work on timing with his receivers.
That time could pay dividends for a group that’s already tight.
“He’s a real guy,” wide receiver Will Hastings said. “I think a lot of people are saying he can’t—some people are saying, ‘I don’t know about the SEC,’ but I have full faith him to go out there and throw some times and even run a couple. So I’m excited.”
The Tigers spent much of their final scrimmage day working on specific two-minute situations and focused on third downs. Classes start on Monday, and during the first two weeks of school Auburn will start concentrating even more closely on Georgia Southern in anticipation of its home opener.
“Obviously, as the days move on, we’ll get more into it,” Stidham said. “But it’s really exciting, to say the least.”
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